The beautiful places are so altered. The Tunnel Fire took so much. We thought it was our primary "natural" disaster for this year. We set ourselves into the process of recovery and focused on rebuilding a community that refused to be defeated. We made preparations for flood waters coming out of the burn scar.
Then, the carelessness and abject irresponsibility of one person started a spark that lit the forests on fire again, and on day 1 of three solid days of heavy winds. The Pipeline Fire didn't destroy the amount of houses and personal property as the Tunnel Fire destroyed, but it ripped across the entire East Side of the San Francisco Peaks, carving out beloved Weatherford canyon, crawling up Doyle Peak and Fremont Peak, and making a run for our Inner Basin. The firefighters valiantly fought along the Inner Basin line, and though it burned out one of the ridges and into the Basin, they were ultimately successful in saving it. We still have Lockett Meadow.
It jumped Highway 89, again, in multiple places and gobbled up the hills I have crawled all over and know as well as my own reflection in the mirror. By some absolute miracle my hill and my beloved tree have survived, like an umbrella was placed over them. More on that later... it is still not fully out of danger.
In the horror of the blackened scene, there are some strange positives. The green is popping up on the ground floor of the Tunnel Fire scar. The Schultz Fire had replaced the thick green forest of the mountainside with blackened snags - the Pipeline Fire orchestrated a masterful cleanup of the 12 year old residue from the previous fire and in some ways our mountain resembles a canvas awaiting the painter's mastery.
These pics were from yesterday